A masterful way to groom colleagues

We mere mortals would do well to emulate the leadership style of Jesus as he interacted with his hand-picked co-workers, the disciples.

You’ve heard of master’s courses in leadership.

Well, let me introduce you to the Master’s course in leading colleagues and grooming them for success.

The master I’m referring to is Jesus. And, so that no one accuses me of misguided theology, let me state at the outset that he did not come to earth to serve as an example of how to lead people in the workplace. That was far from his primary mission.

However, I believe we mere mortals would do well to emulate the leadership style of Jesus as he interacted with his hand-picked co-workers, the disciples.

As best as I can tell from what is recorded in scripture, Jesus did not micromanage the disciples.

If anything, he did quite the opposite.

He gave them a simple instruction at the outset — “Come, follow me” — then charted the course for his ministry while setting the example for them to follow.

Jesus knew there would come a day, and soon, when he would not be physically present to lead them; consequently, he could not afford for the disciples to be puppets.

Rather, Jesus taught them through his words and actions so that they would be prepared in his absence to carry out the work of building the early church.

Jesus also was patient enough to allow his colleagues to suffer their ups and downs in the course of their training.

The disciple Peter suffered a big down, literally, when he stepped out of a boat on a lake to meet Jesus, who was walking across the water toward the boat. Peter, too, would walk on the water until the wind picked up, at which point he became afraid and began to sink. Jesus would grab Peter’s hand and save him.

As the story illustrates, wise leaders encourage their colleagues to grow by stepping out of their comfort zones, just as Jesus encouraged Peter to walk on the water.

And as the story also shows, wise leaders don’t leave their people to sink or swim without extending a helping hand where needed.

It took Peter trying and failing to walk on water for him to learn the lesson of focusing on Jesus rather than his circumstances and putting his faith in Christ. Despite that failure and others, Peter would go on to become a key leader of the church.

Because Jesus equipped and trusted Peter and the other disciples to do their jobs more than 2,000 years ago, there are billions upon billions of people who are followers of Christ today.

Imagine what your workplace can accomplish if you groom strong colleagues who embrace your organization’s goals and are equipped to achieve them. And you don’t need to pull strings to make it happen.

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